Pal Dave T. has been counting down 31 Classic Doctor Who Monsters this month, and today’s entry features a bonus. Thanks to a website someone put together, he was able to identify the exact date he started watching Doctor Who.
I tried to do the same, and have had a little luck. When I first started watching in New Orleans in the early 80s, WYES showed a single episode on weeknights at 6pm and an entire story on Saturday evenings at 10 or 10:30. My sister first started watching it and told me about it, but she stopped soon afterwards. I think, though I’m not certain, that the first complete story I saw on a Saturday evening was ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. If that’s the case, this episode guide I found places that as either August 22, 1981 or July 17, 1982. I discussed this with some friends on Facebook and we’ve figured out it would be the 1981 date.
(Most telling is the fact that Terrance Dicks, a writer for the show, was the guest of honor at Vul-Con in the Summer of 1982, and I was not only already a fan by then, I was one of the folks who suggested him as a possible guest. I was working at The Book End for Jim Mulé, who ran Vul-Con, and my co-worker Allen (who was also a fan) and I made the suggestion.)
So it would seem I was watching by at least August 22, 1981, but what would really help is if I had the dates and episodes for the weekday showings. I know for certain that the first one of those I saw was episode two or three of “The Face of Evil” and the first full story was “The Robots of Death” (still a favorite). So far I haven’t located that information.
I didn’t watch the weekday ones for very long, though. Not only was making a daily date for TV watching problematic, I would have been doing so while my family was around, and that was something I wasn’t going to want to do. The Saturday evening timeslot was more up my alley, after everyone else had gone to bed.
This was not, however, the first Doctor Who episode I’d seen. After I got into the show, and as WYES was cycling through Tom Baker episodes, I was watching “Robot” and suddenly the proceedings became very familiar to me. I had seen this before. I had vague memories of flipping through the channel and watching the last few minutes of episode three with no idea what it was. Apparently it didn’t inspire me to keep watching the series at the time (again, this was one of the weekday showings, so I’d love to have the date for that.)
So there’s a bit of Dave trivia. I don’t know the exact date, but I think I can come close. Anyone got a line on the airdates of those weekday episodes?